Buoyant Barty arrives as Open contender

Ashleigh Barty hopes to ride her summer wave all the way to the second week of the Australian Open after arriving in Melbourne enjoying a career-high ranking and grand slam seeding for the first time.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty is in great form after reaching the Sydney International final.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty is in great form after reaching the Sydney International final.

Buoyed by her charge to the Sydney International final, Barty believes she can cause some serious damage after reeling off four-straight wins before falling to revitalised 2016 Open champion Anqelique Kerber on Saturday night.

"It was a hell of a week, perfect preparation for next week," Barty said.

"I feel like, if I play like that, I'll probably beat most of the people in the draw.

"I'd certainly love to play my best tennis and have my best run in a grand slam here.

"Fingers crossed I can band it all together and play well."

Barty insists she's not feeling any pressure to deliver despite carrying the hopes of success-starved fans desperate to see a first home-grown women's Open champion since Chris O'Neill 40 years ago.

"It's just pure excitement," she said.

"I think all the Aussies really love playing at home. There's nothing better than walking out onto an Australian Open court with the crowd behind you.

"I think every single player wants to be out here and wants to do well in Australia."

A third-round casualty last year, Barty is up against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka on Tuesday before a potential second-round match-up with Sydney semi-finalist Camila Giorgi.

Formidably, world No.1 Simona Halep could await in the fourth round.

But Barty's run in Sydney has filled her with confidence and sent her back to world No.17, level with top-ranked Australian man Nick Kyrgios.

Kerber was full of praise for the 21-year-old, predicting a successful year for the Queenslander who spent 2017 soaring from 271st in the rankings.

"What she did in the last year, it's amazing," Kerber said.

"Where she was and where she is now, it's a huge step.

"She will have a great 2018, I'm very sure about this."

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